Friday, November 25, 2016

Shutter Therapy In Kuching With Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

I finally made it home recently with only one purpose in mind, to shoot on the streets of the beautiful city I have called home, Kuching which is situated in the Borneo Island. I have spent three days (technically only two and a half days) shooting around the city area that I grew up in and I was fortunate to be able to bring home an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with me for my shutter therapy sessions. The weather was not exactly on my side as it rained heavily for half of the time I was in Kuching, but when it was not raining I made the best with what I can.

It was a joy to just roam around freely in a place that is so familiar to me, and I know the roads and buildings so well that somehow I regretted not spending enough time in Kuching shooting. I think most people know I originated from Kuching and it is quite strange when I tell them that I do not have enough beautiful photographs of my hometown. Indeed I have spent most of my time in Kuala Lumpur since Olympus Malaysia is based there, and whenever I return to my home in Kuching I always decided to leave photography behind so I can spend more time with mum, relatives and friends. After all I do not come home often and there is so much to do and many people to catch up with. However, this one time I was making an exception, I wanted photographs, and I wanted the photographs badly.

Armed with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko lenses 7-14mm F2.8 PRO, 25mm F1.2 PRO, and 45mm F1.8, I attacked Kuching streets. My goal was to do my usual street photography shooting, but in Kuching instead of Kuala Lumpur. I did wonder what if I was here shooting for the review of the E-M1 Mark II, the variety of photographs would have been so different. These photographs shown here would have been fit enough to be an extension of the original E-M1 Mark II sample images!

These photographs shown in this blog entry are special to me, as they show my place of birth and where I grew up in. I do not think there is anywhere quite like Kuching. I hope you can enjoy the photographs as much as I have shooting them.

This scene was taken on the 8th floor of a carpark building called Medan Pelita situated opposite the Tua Pek Kong Temple (as seen as the red temple in the image). My secondary school, St Thomas was nearby and we have frequented this location for lunch, or just simply hanging out. There was the Star Cineplex, which was the only one of two go-to cinemas in Kuching back in my younger days, but Star Cineplex is now closed down. This is a classic view of the Kuching city, overlooking the Sarawak River, the Chinese Museam at the waterfront, the Tua Pek Kong temple and a handful of not so tall buildings (these are the only few multistory buildings around). I was lucky to be able to get this shot with dramatic clouds and blue sky as Kuching experiences rain and gloomy weather almost every day. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Need A Break And Lots Of Shutter Therapy Session

This blog site has slowed down significantly lately. Two reasons, a huge amount of time and effort were spent on shooting and reviewing the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with follow up on answering questions in comments and emails, and Olympus Malaysia has been on high gear in rolling out consumer touch and try events all over Malaysia, non-stop in subsequent weekends since the launch of the camera. All my weekends have been occupied by travel, events and meetings that I found completely no time for my own shutter therapy.

I need a break or I will break down completely.

This coming weekend I will be traveling with Olympus Malaysia team to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and immediately after that I will be returning to my home in Kuching, Sarawak. I have not been back since August, and I look forward to seeing mum and catching up with friends and relatives. Most important of all, I shall make plenty of time for shooting on the streets in Kuching, and my hands are getting unbearably itchy!

Well, the logic is pretty much simple, when I do not have time to shoot in the weekends, there are no new photographs, thus nothing that I can use to compose my new blog updates.

Was trying the close up shooting of 12-100mm F4 PRO lens

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review Extension

IMPORTANT NOTES:
1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee.
2. This is a user experience based review, based on my personal opinion which can be subjective.
3. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3
4. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

This is a continuation from the original Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review, if you have not read that first review entry kindly do so before proceeding to this extension. I have covered the important points of the E-M1 Mark II Review (Continuous-AF performance, 5-Axis Image Stabilization improvements, image quality, camera handling, etc) in that original review entry.

As you probably know, I have a day job, and can only do my shooting for this review in the weekend. Last Saturday was also the day we had our first official E-M1 Mark II touch and try event in Malaysia. Immediately after the event I went out to shoot some photographs, and I spent almost all my following Sunday to test out some of the features to compose this blog entry.

For this particular blog, I will be addressing the following questions:
1) What are the improvements in the 50MP High Res Shot in E-M1 Mark II?
2) How does E-M1 Mark II handle rolling shutter/jello effect in high speed shooting using electronic shutter?
3) More detailed explanation on how E-M1 Mark II's Continuous AF works, with more image samples
4) What are the improvements in camera operations? (Auto IS with exposure compensation, minimum shutter speed limit in Program and Aperture Priority mode, etc)
5) More images samples!

Lets get right into the first question on the 50MP High Res Shot, shall we?

50MP High Res Shot
7-14mm PRO, f/5.6, 1/1000, 7mm, ISO200

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review

IMPORTANT NOTES:
1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee.
2. This is a user experience based review, based on my personal opinion which can be subjective.
3. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3
4. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

Note: E-M1 Mark II Blog Extension (click) is now published, covering 50MP High Res Shot, Electronic Shutter improvements, Cinema 4K shooting and upgrades of camera features. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (which was originally announced as "in development phase" in Photokina 2016) is the much anticipated successor for the 2013 flagship E-M1.

I have had the chance to shoot with the E-M1 Mark II extensively over 3 days in various real life conditions covering as many tests as I can. It is difficult to post all my findings and results in one single blog entry, so for this particular blog review I shall be focusing on the most important points of my review. There are just too many things to say about this E-M1 Mark II, and so many sample photographs I want to share here. I shall cover the other parts which are not mentioned here in my coming review extension.